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Statins Effective As Primary Prevention of Clinical Events

The drugs reduce both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality

FRIDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Statins have an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular mortality and other clinical events when used as a primary prevention, according to a meta-analysis published in the Nov. 25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Edward J. Mills, Ph.D., of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 20 randomized clinical trials, which enrolled a total of 65,261 patients. The investigators used a mixed-treatment analysis to evaluate the data.

The investigators found that statins reduced the risk for all-cause mortality by 7 percent and cardiovascular-related mortality by 11 percent. The risk for major cardiovascular events and myocardial infarction was also significantly decreased by statins (15 percent and 23 percent, respectively). Neither cancer nor rhabdomyolysis incidence was increased by the use of statins, the report indicates.

The authors write that they hope these results will "put to rest the debate on statin effectiveness for primary prevention," causing research to focus on the "clinical and pharmacoeconomic criteria to delineate when to initiate statins rather than whether to."

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